WARRINGTON Wolves head coach Steve Price says it is time to put smiles back on the fans’ faces.

437 days since The Wire last played in front of a crowd at The Halliwell Jones Stadium, 4,000 will be in attendance tonight when Huddersfield Giants will be the visitors in Super League Round 6.

With the coronavirus pandemic and the trauma it has caused putting paid to crowds at Warrington’s last 24 matches, seeing Blake Austin wheeling away after kicking the last-ditch drop goal in a 9-8 win against Castleford Tigers in front of a 9,228 crowd on March 6, 2020, almost feels a lifetime ago.

“It means everything to have the fans back,” said Price.

“Our town is a hard-working town. There isn’t a lot of money in our town, and there’s a lot of people who do struggle.

“And they’ve been crying out to get their fix of live matches for a long time.

“We’re excited for the challenge and to be able to put smiles back on the faces of people who do attend our games.

“It’s unfortunate we can only get 4,000 in at the moment, but for the people who do miss out it’s not going to be too long until they can also get down to the HJ and we’ll guarantee we’ll put on a good show for you.

“So, it means everything to us. It’s been frustrating for a lot of people in the game with what’s been happening in the world but we’re excited for the challenge.

“I think the players and staff, not just me, have missed the interaction with fans.

“We have fantastic crowds at the HJ and when we’re bouncing and playing some good footy it can be quite electric.

“Hopefully we can start that process on Monday night and it can continue for the rest of the season.

“It’s going to be great for the game to get our supporters back and hopefully over the next couple of weeks the numbers can slowly increase.

“We’ve got a supporter base who love their rugby and we love having them at The Halliwell Jones. So hopefully we can get a full capacity over the coming months and put on a good show for them because they’ve certainly missed a lot, as have our loved ones and families.”

For prop forward Robbie Mulhern, a new signing from Hull KR for 2021, it will be his first game in front of his new fans.

“It’s been strange for all the players having to play without crowds, especially compared to what we’re used to,” he said.

“And every time I played for KR against Warrington it was always a hostile environment from the fans – always really loud and vocal so I’m looking forward to being on the other end of that for a change.

“There’s only 4,000 fans but with how the stadium is with the fans very close to the pitch, it’s very compact and I think it just makes for a great atmosphere especially in the big games.

“The sooner it can be at full capacity again the better.”

Price also used the word ‘strange’ regarding how the night will be from a coaching perspective.

“When we’ve been without crowds and watching the boys play, you can hear everything including the full communication across the 80 minutes,” he said.

“So it’s going to be strange not being able to hear that but we’ll get used to it pretty quickly and I’m sure the boys will too.”

Mulhern said he feels he is benefitting as a player being with The Wire.

“I’m absolutely loving it with Warrington,” said the 26-year-old.

“It’s always hard to move to a new team especially when you’re quite settled somewhere like I was.

“But the move was always a no brainer, coming to a club like Warrington and being around the players I’m around now. I just knew it was going to be beneficial and it was 100 percent the right decision.

“I’ve moved over and I’m loving life over here so there’s no complaints from me.

“Mike Cooper and Chris Hill are both international props and it was always going to be great for me coming to play with them.

“But more important than that, they’re really good blokes like all of the team are so it’s good to be around them and to get to know them personally and pick up little things from their game because they’ve got a wealth of experience between them so it’s only going to benefit me the more time I spend around them.

“I think it’s all the little subtleties that go on in the game unnoticed. The fans love to see the big runs and the big hits, but I think it’s the little effort areas where they’re both so good.

“I think overall it’s the standards they set for the rest of the team which brings everyone up. They’re not allowing things that maybe aren’t as good as what you’d expect of other teams which is why Warrington have been up around the top of the league the last few seasons because they have those people driving the standards and I think it’s been really good for me to be involved in that and get some experience with it.”